Attention, subscribers! Starting today, The Escape Artist, your weekly travel
e-newsletter from Chicago magazine, moves to Mondays.
As stiltwalkers go, the Dragon Knights are in a class—nay, a world—unto themselves. Erase any preconceived notion you may have of clowns tottering about pointlessly on sticks: The Dragon Knights create graceful flights of fancy using slender pole stilts to shape shift into gigantic, leaping crickets and mischievous griffins (head of an eagle, body of a lion), among other fabulous creatures. The Knights are but one of some two dozen artists from across the globe convening Thursday, September 16th, through Sunday, September 19th, in Bloomington, Indiana for the annual Lotus World Music and Arts Festival.
Performances at ten different venues include artists from Sierra Leone (Sierra Leone’s Refugee All-Stars), Kyrgyzstan (Ordo Sakhna), Haiti (Emeline Michel), Brazil (Choro Livre), India (The India Experience), Spain (Oreka tx, stars of the documentary Nomadak Tx), Quebec (Genticorum), and, yes, Chicago (Funkadesi).
In addition to the concerts, Lotus Fest features an “Arts Village” where (along 6th Street between Walnut and Washington) visitors can collaborate on community weaving projects and chalk murals while surrounded by installations and on-going performance art pieces.
And what’s a festival without a few parades? At 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 18th, the percussive enthusiasts of Nation Beat will beat a path from 3rd Street to the Arts Village. Then at 8:15 p.m., the Punjabi-influenced Red Baraat will travel down Kirkwood Avenue and 4th Street to the sounds of Indian bhangra.
GO Lotus World Music and Arts Festival in downtown Bloomington, Indiana, September 16th through 19th. One- and two-day passes range from $35 to $64. For more information, check lotusfest.org or call 812-323-3020.